The Council Leader and Depute Leader have met with Government Ministers following the announcement by Young’s Seafood that they intend to close their site in Annan.
Council Leader, Elaine Murray and Depute Leader, Rob Davidson, issued the following statement following their meeting: “At a time like this actions speak louder than words. Within the past 24 hours, we have met with the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity and spoken to the Minister for Business Innovation and Energy to ask for support and intervention to preserve as many jobs as possible.
“Just because Young’s have announced this closure, does not mean that we accept this lying down. We need to do everything that we can to take up the case with the company to persuade them to reconsider the closure of the site in Annan.
“We welcome the positive reaction from the Scottish Government today. They recognise the scale and seriousness of the problem for the staff and the community of Annan and the importance of prompt, focussed action. Time is of the essence.
“We need a number of different agencies around the table to find a solution. As a council, we are well placed to lead this and since the news broke, we have been concentrating on making this happen. An action group involving the Council, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government will be meeting tomorrow (Friday, April 6).
“We know that acting quickly, as we have since the announcement was made, is only the first step. Our Administration and our Council is in this for the long term. We will support the staff and the wider community of Annan through this difficult time and for as long as it takes.”
Business Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “Following on from the very disappointing news from Young’s Seafood, regarding their Pinney’s seafood processing plant in Annan, I have had a constructive discussions with both the management at Young’s and the leadership of Dumfries and Galloway Council.
“I confirmed that the Scottish Government, our agencies and other local stakeholders are all committed to working in partnership with Young’s to explore any potential options to retain production at the site and safeguard as many jobs as possible. We seek to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to retain employment, given the importance of the plant to the economic wellbeing of the community.
“Young’s have provided a detailed insight into those factors underlying the proposal to potentially close the site, and signalled their agreement to work with us, throughout and beyond the forthcoming consultation period with their staff, to explore all viable options, including the prospect of identifying new market opportunities and the potential reconfiguration of the site, to sustain production levels in Annan.
“While this will clearly be a very worrying time for Young’s employees, their families and the wider community, I want to assure all those who are affected by this that we are committed to doing everything we can to find a viable solution. Furthermore, we will convene a meeting with our partners at Dumfries and Galloway Council and other partner enterprise and skills agencies to map out the next steps in our efforts to try to save jobs at Pinney’s and to ensure we work together, as a team, in the best interests of the people of Annan.”